I’m always experimenting with baking. To create treats with less or no sugar, (the high fructose variations at least) healthier flours and fresh ingredients – it’s all become an addiction. I love making delectable goodies, that won’t have my kids bouncing off of the walls or taking a researched and proven toll on their health.
All of this, without compromising on taste has taken lots of playing around. Maple syrup (the real kind, Aunt Jemima and other fake maple syrups are laden with corn syrup) and honey are my two new favourite sugar substitutions. Over the refined, processed kind. Honey and maple syrup obviously contain natural sugars. I’ve linked up my holy grail of sugar free substitutions before.
To make healthy baked goods that don’t taste like cardboard is a notion that receives many a snicker. It can be done. We should all stop snarking, because the evils of sugar are very real.
I’m not saying we are a sugar-free house-hold. We do make many substitutions and eat fresh, pre-fab free and local for the most part. It’s not always easy, but hella worth it. Both in taste and in the measurable health benefits aquired through making educated food choices.
However. There are nights when take-out pizza gets ordered and timbits get consumed. Just keepin’ it real over here. Doing how I do. Now for these muffins. Which we’ve been calling cupcakes around here for their moist, cake like texture, begging for sugar-free cream cheese icing. (So easy, so good)…
Maple (or Honey) Spelt Pumpkin Muffins (double batch, because why would you only make one?)
- 3 cups light spelt flour
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar free dark chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1/2 cup REAL maple syrup or honey (melt honey if you have the creamed kind)
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 3 cups pumpkin / yam puree mix – 1 sweet potato, 2 15 oz. cans of organic pumpkin puree (I bet you could do all yam puree and they would taste amazing!)
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 packages organic cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract
- 2-4 tbsp pure maple syrup (more or less to taste)
pinch of salt
Begin by baking 1 sweet potato at 350 F for about 45 min – 1 hour. Your prep time in making the batter won’t be this long, so toss it in there and read your kid a book. Put your feet up. Surf the internets. Do some work. Whatever floats your boat.
Muffiny Cupcakes (I guess it depends on whether you top them with the icing, doesn’t it? I opted out this time, but I’m making them again for Halloween day, with). How You Do:
Around 1/2 hour into your sweet potato baking you’ll want to begin. Start by lining 2 cups muffin/cupcake baking trays with liners or parchment squares. I bought some cute Halloweeny type ones from the discount shelf at Winners (along with spooktacular cupcake toppers). I lightly greased my liners with a buttered pastry brush this time, because last time I used liners they STUCK to the goods. Boo. I’m going to be adventurous next time and forgo this slightly time consuming step.
In a large bowl, (Remember you’re doing a double batch! These freeze wonderfully). Whisk together your dry ingredients: spelt flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, set aside. Next whisk the 4 eggs and add in the wet ingredients: vanilla, melted butter, ginger, syrup (or honey). Take your tater out of the oven (leave it on for the muffins) and scoop the flesh into a 4 cup measuring unit and add the pumpkin puree. Quickly blend with a hand blender and add into the wet mixture. Whisk until it’s all combined.
Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and slowly add in the wet ingredients. I like to use the whisk for this, careful not to overmix. Use a spatula to gently fold in the sugar-free dark chocolate chips if you’ve opted to use them.
Using an ice cream scoop (or tablespoon), scoop generous dollops into your lined cup trays and slide them into the oven for 18 -20 min., until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 1/2 or so before digging in. Longer if you want to top them with the icing.
You can make that super easy icing while they are baking, or eat them naked. The icing is as easy as it gets. Cream the room temperature cream cheese add in the maple syrup, (to taste) vanilla and salt. Cream and whip up some more. Voila. You have delicious icing. Smear on the tops as you wish. Add a festive (Halloween!) cupcake topper or not. Wyndham LOVED doing this part. Great for kids, just saying.